Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Do It Yourself
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 03/27/2017, 11:36 PM   #1
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Micro solenoids for CO2 regulators

Several years ago, I had a CO2 regulator from Carbon Doser / Aquarium Plants which has the unique feature of a "regulated" bubbles per second instead of a needle valve. Due to a depleted tank and back pressure from my reactor, it died a salt-watery death, or at least the main value portion - the "doser" part.

I took it apart at that time, and discovered its basically made up of three main parts:

- A tiny solenoid diaphragm valve with a very small orfice (this is what ended up being plugged due to salt water intrusion, stupid check valves)
- An off the shelf "timer" module
- A potentiometer

Basically nothing for the $200 upcharge compared to the cheap CO2 regulator included. The timer module basically pulsed the solenoid valve on for ~ 100ms at a time.

The magic is of course the quiet solenoid valve, which I haven't been able to locate anywhere. I took this apart years ago, and can't currently find the valve in my bin of broken stuff, but if I do I'll grab some pictures.

The real question is - has anyone tried to replicate the doser? Anyone know of good sources of micro-solenoid valves? I see some Asco valves on fleabay which may fit the bill, but they might be too loud to work in a living space (though they would appear to be rated for the required number of cycles)


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/28/2017, 12:56 AM   #2
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
I believe they are using clippard solenoid . I've also been thinking of breaking up my carbon doser regulator and rebuilding it mainly replacing the solenoid it clogs sometimes. If you can find yours and take some pictures someone can probably guide you on where to get the parts.

Im actually pretty surprised that no one have tried to replicate it already. It seems that the main components are 555 board and a clippard solenoid.


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/28/2017, 01:02 AM   #3
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddynick1 View Post
I believe they are using clippard solenoid . I've also been thinking of breaking up my carbon doser regulator and rebuilding it mainly replacing the solenoid it clogs sometimes. If you can find yours and take some pictures someone can probably guide you on where to get the parts.

Im actually pretty surprised that no one have tried to replicate it already. It seems that the main components are 555 board and a clippard solenoid.
Holy heck. You got it in one shot. Still can't find the original but this is basically it from memory:

http://www.clippard.com/part/EV-2-12-H

They do want $30 for it, but this is still a great price improvement!


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics

Last edited by theatrus; 03/28/2017 at 01:25 AM.
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/28/2017, 10:16 AM   #4
oreo57
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,628
http://www.aqualund.net/?page_id=296

Has been "replicated" and yes just a timer board and a clippard mouse and a valve.


oreo57 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/28/2017, 08:08 PM   #5
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Interesting.

Well, I have several of the Clippard solenoids on my way, time to rig up a timer board and/or pH controller for it. I'm tired of the slamming of the current valve


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics

Last edited by theatrus; 03/28/2017 at 08:13 PM.
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/29/2017, 12:31 AM   #6
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
Do you mind doing a walk-through, if you end up putting one together? it would be interesting.


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/29/2017, 01:50 AM   #7
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddynick1 View Post
Do you mind doing a walk-through, if you end up putting one together? it would be interesting.
Don't mind at all! I'll keep the thread updated.


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/31/2017, 12:35 AM   #8
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Since the valves are on the way, I thought I'd lay out a mini project plan.

First off, I'd like to do a near replacement for the commercial unit: valve, timer circuit, and a control knob, and I'd like to do it as a very simple, firmware free timer circuit that nearly anyone can build using readily available parts in a through-hole soldering project. With the cost of the valve + shipping, I'd hope you could piece together the whole enchilada from various sources for less than $60, and all you need to do is own a soldering iron and have basic soldering skills.

I'd also like to do a fully integrated pH controller version, but I'll talk about that later.

(I'm going to replicate the build instructions to a single blog post - since ReefCentral doesn't let you edit posts, the following will be an up-to-date reference on any part changes, build instructions, etc.

https://theatr.us/elec/simple-carbon-doser/
)

The Clippard "Mouse" valves are a very quiet, very fast acting solenoid. The goal is to pulse on the solenoid for a fraction of a second on a regular basis (every half to 10 seconds, or thereabout).

I'm basing the build on the 12V EV normally-closed standard valve: http://www.clippard.com/part/EV-2-12-H

I'm planning on using the venerable 555 timer chip, which has existed for nearly forever, but is a perfect quick way to make a variable low frequency timer and is widely available from nearly any electronics outlet. The 555 timer will be controlled by a potentiometer, letting you twist a knob to adjust the speed at which the valve opens. A second potentiometer could be added in order to control the valve open time, or it can be fixed.


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03/31/2017, 01:09 AM   #9
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
I'm planning on using a version of the 555 timer circuit designed for very low duty cycle applications, which uses a diode to split the on/off timing of the system between two very different values.



In this case, the "20k" resistor would actually be a potentiometer or a series/parallel combination of a resistor and potentiometer (to tweak the range). The 220 ohm resistor sets the "on" time of the circuit.

The output of this 555 circuit would feed an N-channel MOSFET to actually switch the solenoid on and off. The above is simulated in LTSpice to help tweak values and get in the ballpark of the speed I want. Since the calculations including a diode are a bit more difficult, just using a circuit simulator is the fast way to validate. If you have a copy of LTspice, the simulation file is here: https://theatr.us/images/co2pro/co2timer.asc


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/2017, 02:25 AM   #10
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
This is awesome. I am not that tech savvy, but I found the potentiometer, 555 board and the clippard solenoid. What I couldn't figure out is the size of the resistor. Thanks for doing this walk trough.


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/01/2017, 11:21 AM   #11
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddynick1 View Post
This is awesome. I am not that tech savvy, but I found the potentiometer, 555 board and the clippard solenoid. What I couldn't figure out is the size of the resistor. Thanks for doing this walk trough.


Note that the 555 can't power the solenoid directly. An N channel FET or an NPN transistor is required. Also, to get the different duty cycle the 555 board needs a diode in the timing circuit. You can bodge it in if need be.

I'll post a complete schematic and suggested parts today, and plan on doing a build soon to validate it.


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/02/2017, 12:40 PM   #12
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatrus View Post
Note that the 555 can't power the solenoid directly. An N channel FET or an NPN transistor is required. Also, to get the different duty cycle the 555 board needs a diode in the timing circuit. You can bodge it in if need be.

I'll post a complete schematic and suggested parts today, and plan on doing a build soon to validate it.
Nice, I can't wait. Even though I already bought myself a burkett solenoid and a fancy needle valve to replace my carbon doser. This could actually be a better alternative to using a needle valve.


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/02/2017, 01:26 PM   #13
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
Double post


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/02/2017, 11:14 PM   #14
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Here is my first schematic for the timer circuit:



The FET (Q1) is not critical to that part, its just the cheapest TO-220 size FET DigiKey had in stock. TO-220 is also way overkill since not much power is dissipated, but its a very common size so you may have something else in the parts bin.

The diode is also not critical, any schottky diode will suffice.

I designed a small test board to help validate the design - I'll provide a link to OSHPark once I know it works




__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/04/2017, 01:10 PM   #15
Aqualund
Registered Member
 
Aqualund's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Appleton, WI
Posts: 896
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreo57 View Post
http://www.aqualund.net/?page_id=296

Has been "replicated" and yes just a timer board and a clippard mouse and a valve.
Yup that's correct. I never took apart the carbon doser one because it's all inside potting material and such, but Im assuming that since its a third party manufacturer that makes it for them, that carbondoser has really no idea whats in them, and pays a bunch to get them. hence the upcharge. As far as replicating? I would take issue with that as I designed it from scratch, only assuming how carbondoser might have accomplished their design.

What's fun about the carbondoser is how they approach public relations.

1. I got saltwater in one of my old units from them because Im dumb. I called them to get the information on the solenoid so I could replace just the solenoid. They people who answered the phones the few times were rude, unhelpful, and only offered repairing the unit for a flat $50 less parts.

They also made it a point to clarify with me that their clippard valve was "uniquely designed" and "special."

All of this of course started me down the road of a replacement. Which, as you all know, there are not many options on the market.

2. Once I created my own replacement by designing the circuit, testing and implementing, I offered it up for sale on my website. LOL. To this day I havent sold one. Oh well

But what's funny is that I started getting harassing emails from someone affiliated with them. It would be my pleasure to share them with you

Quote:
Carbondoser:

Sir:

You are in direct violation of US patent and US copywright laws.

We demand that you cease and desist manufacturing, possessing, advertising and selling our protected product.

CarbonDoser Electronic CO2 regulator.

It is illegal to:

• Manufacture
• Possess
• Advertise
• Sell
• Use the “CarbonDoser” name

You have 24 hours to comply.

This email is being cc’d to our patent attorney.
Quote:
Me:

Please provide information which shows how my product infringes on your patent. there isn't a single thing that is the same as your product except that it is connected to a regulator which is not your design, and has a black box that encloses the electronics. I designed everything about this system from scratch and I still have the design files to prove it.

So please, show me how it infringes on your patent.
Quote:
Carbondoser:

NO, IT IS NOT OUR JOB TO PROVE INFRINGEMENTS. IT IS THE DUTY OF ANY INVENTOR TO RESEARCH AND ENSURE THEY ARE NOT INFRINGING. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. YOU SHOULD TALK TO A PATENT ATTORNEY

YOU EVEN HAD THE GAL OF USING OUR COPYWRITED NAME !

YOUR WEBSITE HAS BEEN COPIED AND ALL INFO SENT TO OUR ATTORNEY.

THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS.
Quote:
Me:
It is your job to provide me with which lines of the patent you possess are infringed, if you expect action on my part. I am in no legally bound way required to take any action without proof of my infringement.

I did not use your name. the name of my product is "Carbon." which is the name of an element to which no entity holds a patent on its use (yet). The function of the product is to dose carbon, therefore, the categorical description of the product is a "Carbon Doser." With a space between. Therefore, the name of the category that it falls under on my website is "Solid State Carbon Dosers."

And I did do research to make sure everything about my design is different from yours...well at least the best I could, because I couldn't find a patent for your name, design, or function.

I also wonder how you know that my design is in any way similar to yours since I haven't sold any yet.

So please, provide me with the patent information and tell me what particulars I have infringed and I will gladly make adjustments.

I will look forward to the contact from your attorney, and have forwarded these badgering and bullying emails to my attorney.
Quote:
Carbondoser:
I sincerely hope that you do in fact forward all communication to your attorney.

We have 6 patents, trust me, we know patent laws.

The more we read your emails, it is obvious that you know next to nothing about patent laws.

He will quite quickly point out that facts to you!!!
Quote:
me:
I have forwarded this to my attorney and await communication from yours.
Well, it's been a while now and I have heard nothing.But be careful, they may start harassing you now as well

In regards to your design Theatrus, it looks like it will work just fine. The 10 or so I have made for my coral farm have been operating now for about a year without issue.



Last edited by Aqualund; 04/04/2017 at 01:16 PM.
Aqualund is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/04/2017, 04:37 PM   #16
oreo57
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,628
Doubt if they ever got their patent.. There are similar ones though..
https://www.google.com/patents/US8578922
firing pellets.. making bubbles.. not much different..


oreo57 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/04/2017, 05:09 PM   #17
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqualund View Post
Yup that's correct. I never took apart the carbon doser one because it's all inside potting material and such, but Im assuming that since its a third party manufacturer that makes it for them, that carbondoser has really no idea whats in them, and pays a bunch to get them. hence the upcharge. As far as replicating? I would take issue with that as I designed it from scratch, only assuming how carbondoser might have accomplished their design.

What's fun about the carbondoser is how they approach public relations.

1. I got saltwater in one of my old units from them because Im dumb. I called them to get the information on the solenoid so I could replace just the solenoid. They people who answered the phones the few times were rude, unhelpful, and only offered repairing the unit for a flat $50 less parts.

They also made it a point to clarify with me that their clippard valve was "uniquely designed" and "special."

All of this of course started me down the road of a replacement. Which, as you all know, there are not many options on the market.

2. Once I created my own replacement by designing the circuit, testing and implementing, I offered it up for sale on my website. LOL. To this day I havent sold one. Oh well

But what's funny is that I started getting harassing emails from someone affiliated with them. It would be my pleasure to share them with you


[e-mails]


Well, it's been a while now and I have heard nothing.But be careful, they may start harassing you now as well

In regards to your design Theatrus, it looks like it will work just fine. The 10 or so I have made for my coral farm have been operating now for about a year without issue.


I look forward to the harassing e-mails!

Thanks for the notes - that is pretty crappy customer service and and even more amateurish e-mail from them. Also, no attorney would let their customers send those e-mails... I did like the concept of the product, and the initial function went well, but the price for what you got.... I'm still using that low rent regulator on the planted tank even, probably should replace it one day.

Bummer you haven't sold any - marketing is probably the hardest thing to get right for online sales.


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/04/2017, 06:38 PM   #18
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Finally found my old dead parts.

Old valve. Clearly labeled Clippard on the molded top-cap - no idea how I missed that when I first went looking for the parts . Oddly, the part number label is blank.



New valve just got in today with some fittings:



We have a true match


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 08:30 PM   #19
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
Yeah AP customer service really sucks.


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 08:31 PM   #20
macdaddynick1
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 424
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatrus View Post
Finally found my old dead parts.

Old valve. Clearly labeled Clippard on the molded top-cap - no idea how I missed that when I first went looking for the parts . Oddly, the part number label is blank.



New valve just got in today with some fittings:



We have a true match
Nice!! what model solenoid is that??


macdaddynick1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 08:43 PM   #21
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
http://www.clippard.com/part/EV-2-12-H

12V, normally closed two port 25psi standard seals with the wire leads


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 09:36 PM   #22
oreo57
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,628
25psig is too low if you plan on using them for , say CO2 injection in freshwater tanks.. 50psi is really the minimum...Consider an "upgrade".
atomizers start at 30-ish


oreo57 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 10:19 PM   #23
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
I run a CO2 system through a diffuser in a (not very good ) planted tank - pretty sure I'm at 10psi. Ca reactor is set to 12 psi.

The good news is the 50 and 105psi versions are the same price - I wonder if the springiness of the spider and possible noise is the only difference? Or is there any difference except testing?


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 11:16 PM   #24
oreo57
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,628
Quote:
Originally Posted by theatrus View Post
I run a CO2 system through a diffuser in a (not very good ) planted tank - pretty sure I'm at 10psi. Ca reactor is set to 12 psi.

The good news is the 50 and 105psi versions are the same price - I wonder if the springiness of the spider and possible noise is the only difference? Or is there any difference except testing?
no idea..
Only mentioned it as an [email protected] 50lbs just adds versatility..


oreo57 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04/05/2017, 11:16 PM   #25
theatrus
100-mile-commuter
 
theatrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: almost nevada
Posts: 4,706
Yup, good to point out!


__________________
Custom electronics purveyor.

Current Tank Info: 90g SPS+mixed reef (10 yrs): LEDBrick LEDs, 40g custom sump, Ca reactor, chiller, Vortech, lots of custom electronics
theatrus is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:37 PM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2018 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright 1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.